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Forests and forest research for improved food security and nutrition


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This presentation couples statistics about world hunger and malnutrition with statistics about the micronutrients and ecosystem services forests provide, provoking us to consider the question: what is the role of forests in a world of hungry or malnourished people? Post-doc Research Fellow Bronwen Powell gave this presentation at CIFOR’s Annual Meeting 2012, which was held on 1–5 October at CIFOR’s headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia.

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Forests and forest research for improved food security and nutrition

  1. 1. Forests and Forest Research for Improved Food Security and Nutrition Bronwen Powell Post-doc Research Fellow on Forests and Food Security Forests and Livelihoods (PhD in Human Nutrition, McGill University, Montreal, Canada) Presentation at the CIFOR 2012 Annual MeetingTHINKING beyond the canopy
  2. 2. Food Security ↔ NutritionFood Security by definition vs. measurement....Food security exists when all people, at all times,have physical and economic access to sufficient safeand nutritious food to meet their dietary needsand food preferences for a healthy andactive life.So where does the FAO’s “925 million” come from? THINKING beyond the canopy
  3. 3. Iron 2 billion people (<30% of world) are anaemic Growth and cognitive development, school performance, work productivity and maternal mortalitySources = animal source foods (meats), legumes, leafy greens, fish, fortified cereals THINKING beyond the canopy
  4. 4. Vitamin A up to 500,000 children go blind each year from vitamin A deficiency ... half of them die within 12 months of going blind Infection and immunitySources = liver, leafy greens, orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin), orange fruit, dairy (including human milk) THINKING beyond the canopy
  5. 5. Dietary DiversityAnd….. iodine, vitamin B12, zinc,calcium, selenium, folate... THINKING beyond the canopy
  6. 6. Nutrition Transition 1 billion people in the world areover-weight or obese (Yach et al. 2006,Nature) 146 million people in developingworld have diabetes (Yach et al. 2006,Nature) “Double Burden”Mandazi: wheat flour, sugar, oil• 1 serving (~80g)= 300kcal + 21g fat• Not a good source of vitamin A, iron, calcium, zinc (and others) THINKING beyond the canopy
  7. 7. The Role of Forests? THINKING beyond the canopy
  8. 8. Foods from Forests:  Fruits, vegetables, animal foods, fish, mushrooms, honey (Tanzania / Thailand)Wild Foods for Micronutrients:  31% vitamin A, 26% iron, 23% calcium (Powell et al. in EFN)  37% vitamin A, 17% iron, 30% calcium from Wild Vegetables in Vietnam (Ogle et al. 2001)  Bush meat: loss of wild meat in the diet = 29% increase in children with anemia (Golden et al. 2011) and work by Nasi, van Vliet, Fa… among others THINKING beyond the canopy
  9. 9. THINKING beyond the canopy
  10. 10. Ecosystem services / effect of tree cover:  Tree cover positively correlated with dietary diversity (Powell 2012)  In the dry season tree cover within 2km from the home was associated with vegetable consumption (Powell 2012)  Ickowitz et al. forthcoming... THINKING beyond the canopy
  11. 11. Market Integration: When forest people move out of forest (Dounias et al. 2007, Dounias and Froment 2006) PES in Mexico (Ibarra et al. 2011)Capacity Building / Cross-cutting work: Many call for nutrition as a cross-cutting issue (across edu., agriculture, forestry)
  12. 12. Micronutrients“The Hidden Hunger”17% of people in developingcountries are undernourished(FAO)26.5% of children under 5 indeveloping countries areSTUNTEDStunting (too short) = chronic growth failure height for age Z score(HAZ) THINKING beyond the canopy
  13. 13. The Role of Forests? THINKING beyond the canopy